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“Lovely place, poor (and rude) management”

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Ntchisi Forest Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 19 March 2017

I'd like to begin by saying the forest lodge itself was lovely, beautiful scenery, well marked trails, good food, friendly staff (though difficult to find and when they were around, often had the door closed) but probably the rudest and most unreasonable management I have ever come across. Unfortunately, my friend and I arrived at 10pm, 3 hours later than planned due to unexpected transport problems. Throughout the day, I sent 2 emails and made 5 phone calls to discuss transport and explain our situation, but no response. So we carried on and the lovely night guard woke up Eduard to allow us in - Eduard greeted us with open annoyance that we were late, waking him up from "deep sleep" without informing him of our status. When we explained we had transport complications and further explained our several attempts to make contact he nastily responded "well, we are on a mountain with no cell service so what do you expect?" Clearly, this shocks me silent because not only is he unnecessarily rude, none of what he is saying is rational. The following evening I approached him and a female manager regarding the previous nights encounter with Eduard (in a direct and firm, but non confrontational way) and was further badgered with responses like "this isn't a hotel with 24/7 reception" and "I'm not your slave at your beckon call". And round and round we go. The entire weekend was full of ncounters like this leaving us with feeling like we had to walk on eggshells, couldn't ask for the simplest and most reasonable of things....we were made to feel as though we were a difficult annoyance. Though the place was lovely, I would not recommend this place based on the discomfort and disrespect I was confronted with from the management.

Room Tip: I stayed in the safari tent and this was fine.
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  • Stayed: March 2017, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank erica C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NtchisiForestLodge, Owner at Ntchisi Forest Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 24 March 2017

Dear Erica,

Thanks for your feedback. We are happy that you enjoyed the lodge, the beautiful scenery and the friendly staff. We regret the inconvenience you have experienced with our managers during your stay and want to apologise for that. Since we are a small lodge, hospitality is key for us. Fortunately the vast majority of guests respect us for that as you can also see on other reviews. Therefore we were very much surprised to read your comments.

Of course we have also spoken to our managers since we belief you always need to hear both sides of the story. First of all after hearing your story they want to apologise for the inconvenience you have experienced. They mentioned that while indeed they had received an email in the morning that you would be a bit later, they did not receive any further communication and by 9 PM figured that you were not coming and send the staff home. When you arrived they were already in bed and in deep sleep. And yes, when they woke up and you told them you had contacted them in many ways without any respons, they were a bit tempered . The encounter when you spoke to them firmly, they have perceived as a little offensive and therefore he responded the way he did. They assured us however that the staff have taken good care of you for the rest of the weekend.

It seems that due to a lot of things happening that particular day and the day after with both your take and that of our manager the experience was not as you had expected it to be. We are sorry for that.

We sincerely hope you can set this interaction aside and will mostly remember all the good things Ntchisi Forest Lodge had to offer you.

Joost, Marleen and Ans
Owners Ntchisi Forest Lodge

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Reviews (86)
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11 - 15 of 86 reviews

Reviewed 16 March 2017

The place is beautiful and it's the only tourist-appropriate place to stay near Ntchisi Forest. It's one of the more upscale lodges in Malawi, and the prices reflect American pricing more than local pricing. The food is great. Angelina, our host, was fantastic.

  • Stayed: April 2016, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Kelly N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NtchisiForestLodge, Manager at Ntchisi Forest Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 24 March 2017

Hi Kelly,

Thanks for you review, we always appreciate the feedback from our guests. The isolated spot where the Forest Lodge is located has many advantages, especially the quietness from the forest and the great views over Lake Malawi. We serve homemade Western style food but with many local products which we buy from the surrounding communities. We have accommodation in all price ranges; camping on our beautiful campgrounds, Luxury Safari Tents with shared facilities, different types of Ensuite rooms and our popular Forest Cabin which is ideal for families or a group of friends. We hope to welcome you back at our lodge in the near future.

Best regards from everyone at Ntchisi Forest Lodge

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Reviewed 18 February 2017

We only stayed one night, which was a pitty, because the lodge is just beautiful, the staff very friendly, and the forest, well it was just amazing! Wonderful walk through thick foggy forest, lots of birds, lovely rainforest.

  • Stayed: January 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank toni j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NtchisiForestLodge, Manager at Ntchisi Forest Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 22 February 2017

Hi Toni,

Thanks for your review. We enjoyed your stay at the lodge and are happy to hear that you two enjoyed the forest so much! We are trying our best together with the local community to protect the rainforest and to keep it preserved for the future generations. In this rainy season we are also busy planting small trees in the forest on places that were affected by bushfires last year. We really hope you will be able to spend more days at our lodge during your next trip!

Warm regards from all Ntchisi Forest Lodge staff

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Reviewed 14 February 2017 via mobile

This is the best place to unwind, relax and recharge

Its still the best experience trip ever, the staff very friendly, and I would recommend the forest walk and first priority...when you walk in the rain forest you will appreciate why is important to preserve nature why its important to protect the this rain forest

Stayed: February 2017
Thank Thokozani D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NtchisiForestLodge, Manager at Ntchisi Forest Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 22 February 2017

Dear Thokozani,

We really appreciate your feedback. Ntchisi Forest Lodge is located on the edge of the last remaining rainforest of Malawi with hiking trails starting in our backyard. The views from the terrace reach as far as the mountains of Mozambique on a clear day. With our Community Trust Fund we support local initiatives to preserve the forest and to stop illegal logging and poaching. Local community members are patrolling twice every day to protect the forest. If you like some extra information on the forest during your hike we have a guide available who can tell you lots of interesting stories.

Kind regards,

The Ntchisi Forest Lodge Team

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Reviewed 15 January 2017

The Lodge is very beautiful. We stayed in a luxury tent, which deserves the name, very comfy and more like a room. The food was great, especially the freshly made bread (which helped us survive the minibus trips the next days) and salads.
Although we only stayed for a day, I could easyly imagine to stay there for a week. There are different trails in the woods, which are easy to hike but also interesting.
All in all, it's a very charming and relaxing place, I can only recommend anyone taking the trip there!

  • Stayed: August 2016, travelled with friends
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank janinabrocke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NtchisiForestLodge, Manager at Ntchisi Forest Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 19 January 2017

Hi Janina,

Thanks for your kind review. Since we are not close to any supermarkets we are making most of the food ourselves. This also means fresh homemade bread every day! And we try to get most of our vegetables from one of our three vegetable gardens. With one of our maps it is easy to walk around in the rainforest which starts in our backyard. We hope to welcome you back one day for a bit longer stay!

Warm regards from all of us!

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Additional Information about Ntchisi Forest Lodge

Address: PO Box 1517 | Ntchisi, Bwanje, Malawi
Region: Malawi > Central Region > Bwanje
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Speciality Lodging in Bwanje
Price Range: HK$547 - HK$625 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ntchisi Forest Lodge is a remote eco-lodge in a historial building in a rainforest location with the most stunning view in Malawi. Here you can experience the real Africa, either on one of our many rainforest or mountain hikes, or you can participate in some of our cultural activities in remote rural villages still untouched by tourism. We also arrange volunteering stays, on which you can spend a few days or weeks delving a bit deeper into Malawian culture and feel that you give something back as part of your holiday. The lodge runs enterily on renewable energy and we grow most of our own herbs and vegetables. You can stay in one of the 5 lodge rooms, our newly build Forest Cabin or stay in one of our two luxury tents. Here you can experience the real Africa in comfortable and safe surroundings and with a good conscience. ... more   less 

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